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Acts 5:38-41

Context
5:38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 1  it will come to nothing, 2  5:39 but if 3  it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 4  fighting against God.” He convinced them, 5  5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 6  Then 7  they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 5:41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 8  to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 9 

1 tn Here ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).

2 tn Or “it will be put to an end.”

3 tn This is expressed in a first class condition, in contrast to the condition in v. 38b, which is third class. As such, v. 39 is rhetorically presented as the more likely option.

4 tn According to L&N 39.32, the verb εὑρεθῆτε (Jeureqhte, an aorist passive subjunctive) may also be translated “find yourselves” – “lest you find yourselves fighting against God.” The Jewish leader Gamaliel is shown contemplating the other possible alternative about what is occurring.

5 tn Grk “They were convinced by him.” This passive construction was converted to an active one (“He convinced them”) in keeping with contemporary English style. The phrase “He convinced them” is traditionally placed in Acts 5:40 by most English translations; the standard Greek critical text (represented by NA27 and UBS4) places it at the end of v. 39.

6 sn Had them beaten. The punishment was the “forty lashes minus one,” see also Acts 22:19; 2 Cor 11:24; Mark 13:9. The apostles had disobeyed the religious authorities and took their punishment for their “disobedience” (Deut 25:2-3; m. Makkot 3:10-14). In Acts 4:18 they were warned. Now they are beaten. The hostility is rising as the narrative unfolds.

7 tn The word “Then” is supplied as the beginning of a new sentence in the translation. The construction in Greek has so many clauses (most of them made up of participles) that a continuous English sentence would be very awkward.

8 sn That is, considered worthy by God. They “gloried in their shame” of honoring Jesus with their testimony (Luke 6:22-23; 2 Macc 6:30).

9 sn The name refers to the name of Jesus (cf. 3 John 7).



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